Motorcycling as a sport is endless and vast and the learning never stops! The more time you spend on the saddle, the better biker you become.
Having ridden bikes a lot over the years, solo as well as with clubs, I have noticed many small mistakes that even us experienced motorcyclists make. Here are some of them-
1. Not tightening the helmet strap- This is one of the most common mistakes we all make. A helmet is of no use if it’s not fitting snugly, with the strap tightened. In case of a fall, the helmet will fly off your head in a second!
2. Forgetting that the exhaust is always super hot – We all have those exhaust burn marks, as we tend to forget that the exhaust is super hot at all times and touch the leg or foot on it by mistake. And especially on days when we aren’t wearing closed shoes!
3. Wearing loose riding gear - Which is as good as not wearing the riding gear at all! If your jacket is loose or your pants are oversized, the chances of the armour moving from its place are quite high. Your gear has to be just the right size so that the armours stay in place and do their job of protecting you from serious injury in case of a fall.
4. Leaving the indicators on - We all sometimes forget that a bike isn’t a car and the indicators don't go off automatically after a turn. With a bike, you need to physically turn the indicator off, or the person riding behind you will get all confused!
5. Leaning the bike with side stand not touching the floor in parking – More often than not, this will result in the bike tipping over.
6. Forgetting to take the side stand off – We’ve all done it at some point or the other! Over the years I’ve seen many bikers riding with the side stand on. It can actually be a bit dangerous, so must be careful about it.
7. Not using both the brakes together – Technically we all know that the correct way of braking is to use both brakes together, but sometimes we take it for granted. And in situations where we should NOT be using just the front brake, we end up doing exactly that. And the bike throws you off over the hand bar, like a horse would!
8. Forgetting to adjust tyre pressures before going off-roading - This one’s a must-avoid mistake if you want to have better traction in off road. There's no set pressure as such, as it would vary from one rider to another depending on his/her body weight.
9. Not looking where you want to go, rather where you are going- You can see for yourself, that if you are fixating your vision on say, a pole, you will go and hit the pole! So always look where you want to go and not where you are going. Always look at the exit and remember the ‘slow in, fast out’ rule!
10. Using arm strength to lift the bike - Most bikers lift the bike after a fall using their arm strength while facing the bike. Instead they should be lifting using the ‘back’ technique that is much easier and doesn't strain your back.
Lastly, just remember - When in doubt, throttle out! In case of obstacles, instead of excessive use of the clutch and breaks, just stand on those pegs and ride out!